A level playing field and access to opportunities are just two of the things that stand in the way of success for at-risk youth in the Lehigh Valley.
On Friday, Oct. 16, PPL Corporation made strides to close those gaps with the first My Brother’s Keeper careers conference in the Lehigh Valley. The event welcomed 100 students in eighth through tenth grade from the Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton school districts and Lincoln Leadership Academy Charter School.
“My Brother’s Keeper was launched by the Obama administration, as a challenge to communities across the nation to develop pathways to opportunities for young urban youth that normally are not present in their environment,” said David Jones, Lehigh County Commissioner and regional director of My Brother’s Keeper.
PPL’s careers conference provided information on how students can tap into high-demand career opportunities in the energy industry and overcome obstacles to their success. The event identified the potential jobs students may find down the road, and included presentations from PPL employees on their road to success with the company.
The event also provided the resources necessary to after a career in energy. Representatives from national and local academic organizations, such as United Negro College Fund, National Society of Hispanic MBAs, National Black MBA Association and Lehigh Carbon Community College, provided detailed instructions and one-on-one counseling on how each student could further his education.
“PPL believes that the success of our company is tied to the success of the communities we serve. PPL’s goal is to provide a meaningful experience for these kids and spark an interest in the energy industry, through our partnership with My Brother’s Keeper,” said Matt Cadwell, Human Resources manager-PPL Corporation. “We also want to give them access to resources that they might not otherwise have had and help lead them down a pathway for success.”
Held during Careers in Energy Week, PPL’s first My Brother’s Keeper careers conference took place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 16 at PPL’s Walbert Training Center in Allentown, Pa. The interactive agenda gave students a chance to speak one-on-one with college funding organizations and provided demonstrations of the latest technology to advance the energy industry – such as electric vehicles, smart grid technology, cybersecurity protocols and more.
When asked what inspired him during the day, Legious Minder, an eighth grade student at Raub Middle School said, “Seeing that anybody can do anything, they just have to work for what they want.” He went on to say, “I can get whatever I want, as long as I work as hard as I can.”